46. Mr. David Adams
asked the Prime Minister whether it is the intention of the Government to commence on Tyneside and in County Durham light industries supplying war needs which will be adaptable to production, for which there will be a probable demand on the resumption of peace; and whether he will consider the advisability of keeping the Royal Commission on the Geographical Distribution of the Population in session during the war so as to give guidance upon the post-war distribution of industry, which is certain to raise acute problems in the Special Areas of the North?
§ The Prime Minister
As the hon. Member is aware, a considerable number of factories engaged on light industries were started before the war in the district to which he refers, with the assistance of the Special Areas Acts. Some of these factories are now engaged on war work, and will be able after the war to revert to the work for which they were planned. Some of the new production capacity created in the same district for war purposes will also be capable of adaptation to peace-time industry. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on 7th December.
Does the Prime Minister fully recognise the acute and permanent apprehension that prevails in the Special Areas as to their fate after the war? Will he give full consideration to the proposals in this Question?
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Prime Minister aware that the policy of the Ministry of Supply is causing very great disturbance 578 in this part of the country? Can he give a guarantee that any work done will not be interfered with by the Ministry of Supply?
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the Prime Minister aware that the Ministry of Supply have decided that there are to be no further factories in the North, because it is a vulnerable area, and does not the same objection apply to other industrial areas.